Children do not socialize themselves. Left to their own devices they'll regress into the kind of social behaviour that got humans this far, being complete and utter selfish sociopaths.I'm not sure where this came from. In fact, what I said in my post was quite the opposite. I don't expect my kids to "socialize themselves." I said I do things like stand by them and make sure they don't hurt anyone in the course of playing. I do not advise that children be "left to their own devices."
When they hit a kid on the play ground they need to know it's not okay.My kids already know, at ages 2 and 4, that hitting is "not okay." And yet, sometimes they do it anyway, just like all children sometimes do. Even the ones who are punished. I will not punish my kids for doing things they already know are "wrong." Instead, I will help them figure out what triggered the behavior, and try to help them prevent escalation and recurrence.